Xiaomi, the Chinese technology company that was named the most valuable tech startup at the end of 2014, has frequently been in the news as of late. Since releasing its first smartphone less than four years ago, the company has become the largest smartphone vendor in China and third largest smartphone distributor in the world, largely through undercutting prices via very narrow profit margins and a completely online presence.
The company recently set its sights on fitness trackers, too. The colorful Mi Band “hit the market last August in mainland China, and since then has spread to India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. On Monday, it finally hit US and European shores, among the first Xiaomi products to reach the West,” according to a report in Quartz. Priced at a mere $20, it is giving wearable tech chief Fitbit a run for its money.
Although the Mi Band may not have as many features, it is three times more affordable than Fitbit’s cheapest tracker and comes with a longer battery life. Furthermore, the Mi Band allows the user to choose between a hundred colors and various vibration patterns for any given app, providing a versatility lacking in most other activity trackers.
Despite Xiaomi’s drastic growth over the last few years, an IDC report released earlier this month revealed that Fitbit is still at the top of the worlds’ wearable tech market. Now we see if they can stay there. Xiaomi is trailing incredibly close behind.